Skip to comments.The Price of Oil vs. the Price of Water
Posted on 09/05/2002 2:39:10 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
There are lots of mistaken ideas about oil and, as the US readies itself to depose Iraq's Saddam Hussein and thus gain control of that nation's oil fields for the foreseeable future, we might want to dispel a few myths regarding oil, starting with the fact that the Earth is most certainly not running out of it.
In fact, rather than being "unsustainable", the Earth may well be producing new quantities of oil as you read this. Geologists are beginning to conclude just that.
Writing in the Houston Chronicle in April, a friend of mine, Rob Bradley, president of the Houston-based Institute for Energy Research in Houston, noted that had "recently compared prices in gallon equivalents at a local supermarket that had gas pumps in the parking lot. Bottled water was going for between .90 cents per gallon for the store label, to about $6.30 for a gallon with something with a French-sounding name.
"The price of a gallon of milk ranged from $2.80 to $4, orange juice from $5 to $6, and a gallon of beer from $5 to more than $14. A gallon of the kind of wine you can buy by the gallon cost $9.50, while top-of-the-line champagne was going for more than $650 per gallon!
"The price of gasoline outside range from $1.40 for regular to $1.60 for supreme. Subtracting the $0.38 federal and state tax put the price of regular down to about $1 per gallon."
Not only is oil cheaper than some bottled water, but consider what we get from a single barrel of crude oil.
Gasoline: 19.4%. Is used as fuel for trucks, cars, and boats.
Distillate fuel oil: 9.7%. is used for home heating oil, farm trackers, industrial machinery, electric utilities, railroads, ships, and construction and military equipment.
Kerosene-type jet fuel: 4.3%. Keeps airlines and military jets flying.
Residual fuel oil: 1.9%. Fuel for power plants, used by tankers and other large vessels. Also heats large apartment buildings.
Liquefied refinery gases: 1.9%. Propane, used in devices such as barbecue grills.
Still gas: 1.8%. An alternative fuel at refineries.
Asphalt and road oils: 1.4%. Fills those potholes, makes highways.
Petrochemical feedstocks: 1.1%. These are used in countless household items, including kitchen water filters and laminated countertops. They are used in the manufacture of synthetic fiber for clothes, the dyes used to color them, as well as perfumes and flavors. Think "plastics."
Lubricants: 0.5%. This is the grease that makes sure big equipment in factories and everywhere else runs smoothly.
Kerosene: 0.2%. Used in heat lanterns and light lamps.
Other: 0.4%. Used to manufacture paints, antifreeze, and other products.
Looked at in this fashion, the irrational hatred of petroleum that is one of the primary themes of environmentalism begins to look as crazy as it actually is. Try contemplating living in a world deprived of the many uses of petroleum.
Try to figure out why the Democrat-controlled Congress will not allow the extraction of an estimated 16 billion barrels of oil lying below the surface of Alaska's barren, frozen tundra?
Do you know where our oil really comes from? According to a July issue of Parade magazine, in 2001 nearly 50% of the oil Americans use came from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela. Another 18% came from Angola, Britain, Nigeria, and Norway. Our number one single source of oil, however, is Saudi Arabia at 18%, while 8% came from Iraq.
We need to shift this reliance on Saudi Arabian oil to Russian, a major exporter of oil. Then we can sit back and watch the Saudis return to being camel traders.
Oil, memory chips, sand, steel, rubber, chocolate, cotton. They are all commodities that flow in the sea of international commerce at prevailing free market prices. The only effective way of controlling Saudi Arabia's income from oil is 1) Blockade, or 2) Regime Change.
I believe it is silly to change our source of oil, as the French will just as quickly stop buying Russian and start buying Saudi. May I instead recommend:
1) Blockade, or
2) Regime Change?
The posts on this thread make one mistake. It matters not whether we buy from Saudi Arabia or if the French replace us. It is a world wide market. Oil is a commodity. The issue is the overall world supply and demand, which sets the world wide price. The more supply, the lower the price and vice versa.
So if we can double the amount of oil pumped by the Iraquis or by the Russians, we put the Saudis into a terrible bind. Either they accept the lower price caused by the increased supply or they cut their production. Either way, they make less money. Either way, there is less money funnelled to terrorists and terrorist schools all over the world.
And, what's nice about it is that it doesn't matter if the French start buying Saudi oil. It doesn't matter because the price has fallen.
This is why the saudis and the russians are so opposed to our invading iraq. Neither want more iraqi oil on the market.
I find this list a stellar argument for finding new non-petro-chemical-based energy sources.
Russian oil should be a non-starter because now we would be dependent on them. Makes you also wonder why Alaska, etc and alternative renewables are not been already in place. Seems like some conbination of oil interests and Israeli interests don't want us to abandon interest in the Middle East.
Well, every time we have a viable alternative, the greens find some argument against those as well.
Witness the (verbal) attacks against nuclear power. There are so many new regulations (during the Clinton years) on hydro power that the hydro plant near my house can no longer be profitable and is scheduled to close. And what about the wind farms? Too dangerous for birds. Solar? All the panels are causing environmental damage to the deserts they place them in.
Any alternative you come up with is soon attacked as being bad... it soon becomes clear that the anti-oil people aren't really concerned with oil at all... they could be better defined as anti-industry. I reckon if they had their way, they'd mandate suicide by the age of 20, so that we humans wouldn't leave such a scar on mother Earth. The theme music to Logan's Run seems to be stuck in my head right now...
a gallon of beer from $5 to more than $14
Not the beer I buy.
$2.21 per gallon.
Ain't that the truth. The Greens want us all sitting in the dark. They want rolling blackouts to be permanent blackouts!
Nice use of stats--here's the bottom line: I don't put 15 gallons of champange in my car each week. :)
Then the sheiks would be swapping "their" oil 2-to-1 for water delivered by U.S. flag tankers......